Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Teaching the Guardian...

Apparently the Lib Dem conference has taught the Guardian ten things over the past few days:

  1. Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems are definitely not "going wobbly" on the coalition of course we're not.  If we back out now then the Tories will have no incentive to implement the things our MPs have worked hard to negotiate.  Maybe the Guardian is only just realising that the only people seriously suggesting it were in the media

  2. Morale is actually rather good – for reasons that are not particularly obvious. Now I haven't been there to assess the mood but Caron Lindsay's blog goes some way to suggesting why.

  3. The Lib Dems are now confident that they exercise real influence within the coalition. Well it has been widely reported that 75% of the Lib Dem manifesto is being implemented and people like Tim Montgomerie and Nadine Dorris both think we definitely are.

  4. The Lib Dems are showing that being in coalition doesn't necessarily stop a party asserting its independence.  It would be a fool who would think we wouldn't be independent.  I live in a Tory Lib Dem marginal, they are the enemy, they always will be, just because we're willing to work with them doesn't mean that we agree with them, their policies or their values.

  5. There is no threat to Clegg's leadership.  Again, the only people seriously suggesting this have been in the media, those looking for a story.  Although some are disgruntled, others are dismayed, a large number of  Liberal Democrats still see the qualities and principles that Nick has and his passion for liberalism that will keep him in favour.

  6. But the thought of standing down before 2015 does seem to have crossed Clegg's mind.  I've never met Nick personally, but he strikes me as a realist.  I'm sure that if he thought he wasn't the best person to be leading the party he'd stand down.  It would be an arrogant leader to not even consider the possibility.

  7. If Clegg really does want to get rid of the Lib Dems' "fluffy bunny" tendency, he still hasn't entirely succeeded.  I personally wouldn't want to be part of a party that is just conformist.  The Liberal Democrats look at things differently (based on evidence) and are happy to debate them.  The way Andrew Sparrow writes this it implies that we shouldn't be looking to see if drugs laws are fit for purpose, if the current laws on gay blood donation are right or if the exposure of sexually explicit material in a newspaper is appropriate.  To me these are all issues that a political party should have a policy on and I am pleased with the outcome from these debates.

  8. The Lib Dems aren't getting any closer to Labour.  I don't see why we would, we are our own party with our own ideals.  I hate the media's determination to fit everything onto a left/right axis, as I paid no attention to this plane when I was drawn to the Lib Dems.

  9. If there's another hung parliament, what the Lib Dems do will be determined by the numbers, and not by ideology.  I don't completely by this.  I think the overriding rule would be that any coalition should have a majority, but I'm sure that if one potential coalition had 55% of the parliament and another 51% then we would join the one that was the best fit.  But that is getting ahead of ourselves, I can't see there being a hung parliament in 2015, if there is then one thing that will need to change is the voting system (although that wont happen).

  10. Tim Farron must be favourite to become next Lib Dem leader if the coalition fails.  Pleasing to see someone outside of the party giving him some recognition, he is in my favourite 5 politicians (as is Nick Clegg).  I'm sure he would be a great candidate should the situation arise, whether or not the coalition has failed.  His comment about the coalition ending before the next general election is a perfectly valid one - we wont be fighting it as a Tory Lib Dem association or anything like that so we will have to separate!
I'm glad the Guardian has learnt something, but one thing I think they have missed (although it could be alluded to in the moral) is that the party has great resolve.  Many of the members have been there at much lower points in history and they are prepared to fight on for what we believe.

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